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Coming of Age

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Fallon Lloyd-thomas

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of Coming of Age

Coming of Age
Coming of age as a genre:
Coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the
growth of a protagonist
from youth to adulthood.

Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize
dialogue or internal monologue over action
, and are
often set in the past.
The subjects of coming-of-age stories are typically males in their mid teens.

Themes of maturation, acculturation, loss of innocence, the acquisition of wisdom, acumen or worldliness are often present.

The
bildungsroman
is a specific subgenre of coming-of-age story. It is especially prominent in literature and focuses on the
protagonist's psychological and moral growth
, and thus character change is extremely important.
One of the main characteristics of a coming-of age novel is that the protagonist often undergoes experiences which results in his
inner growth and development as a person
.

These experiences could include the
death of a loved one, a war, family turmoil or adventure.


A Bildungsroman tells about the growing up or coming of age of a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience.

Usually in the beginning of the story there is an emotional loss which makes the protagonist leave on his journey. The
goal is maturity,
and the protagonist
achieves it gradually and with difficulty
.

The genre often features a main
conflict between the main character and society.
Typically, the values of society are gradually accepted by the protagonist and he is ultimately accepted into society – the protagonist's mistakes and disappointments are over.
To be categorized in the genre Bildungsroman, the plot must follow a certain course.

The protagonist grows from child to adult in the novel.
At an early stage, a loss or some sort of discontent pushes him or her away from home or the family setting, providing an impetus to embark on a journey.
The main character often develops through "self actualization".
The process of maturation is long, strenuous and gradual, involving repeated clashes between the protagonist's needs and desires and the views and judgments enforced by an unbending social order.
The Bildungsroman
In good realistic fiction, the character possesses a clearly defined personality and
exhibits growth during the course of the story
. Their growth of self-awareness usually
comes with struggling, pain, and even suffering.
Many realistic stories depict their protagonist growing up or coming of age.
The coming-of-age stories typically trace the protagonist's growth from a
self-absorbed, immature individual into an expansive, mature human being concerned with the welfare of others, and his/her place in the world scheme
.

The aim of these experiences is to make the protagonist
stronger and wiser.

Another characteristic is that the protagonist is
often young and naive at the beginning of the story
, and the coming-of-age marks his
transition into adulthood.
Jasper Jones:
Go through the novel and complete the sheet provided to illustrate the various characters' coming of age.
Full transcript